An obesity drug made by pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly is expected to help push up the price of the company’s stock after clinical trial data shows the drug bolsters weight loss by more than 20 percent.
The company, which is named after an American Civil War veteran, said that participants lost as much as 22.5 percent of their body weight in the Phase 3 study of diabetes drug candidate Tirzepatide. That would place the drug ahead of tentative rivals already on the market, CNBC reported.
Eli Lilly shares rose about 3 percent Thursday on the announcement.
Investors will likely be encouraged by the results, financial experts say. “These data likely validate Street thinking that Tirzepatide would become a dominant player in the obesity market,” Wells Fargo analyst Mohit Bansal said in a research note Thursday.
“Obesity is a chronic disease that often does not receive the same standard of care as other conditions, despite its impact on physical, psychological and metabolic health, which can include increased risk of hypertension, heart disease, cancer and decreased survival,” Dr. Louis J. Aronne, an obesity expert who worked with Lilly on the Surmount-1 study, said in a press release about the trial’s results.
“Tirzepatide delivered impressive body weight reductions … which could represent an important step forward for helping the patient and physician partnership treat this complex disease,” Aronne added.
The 72-week trial included 2,539 people. The company said the “overall safety and tolerability profile of Tirzepatide was similar to other incretin-based therapies approved for the treatment of obesity.”
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The reported results come as more than 40 percent of Americans struggle with being overweight and/or obese. Like many other health conditions, Black Americans suffer the highest levels of obesity, data shows.
The National Black Leadership Commission on Health found that Black Americans had the highest prevalence of obesity at 49.6 percent. They were followed by Hispanics at 44.8 percent and non-Hispanic white Americans at 42.2 percent.
Four out of five Black women are overweight or obese, the report found.
PHOTO: A man checks his stomach or waist fat using measuring tape before dieting at home. Credit: lakshmiprasad S / iStock, https://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/lakshmiprasadS?mediatype=photography